The philanthropic work of Major League Baseball player, Nelson Cruz was highlighted in a welcome event, in New York City, which was held at the Parrilla Latina. Cruz’s off the field efforts were recognized throughout the night.
For the past several years, the slugger, native of Las Matas de Santa Cruz, has made it a priority to give back to those who need it most, both in the Dominican Republic and here in the States. In 2015, Cruz became a spokesperson for Aid for Aids and their initiative, “Un Batazo Contra El VIH” (A Hit Againts HIV).
Earlier this year, Cruz in conjunction with the MLBPA, donated wheelchairs as well as other orthopedic necessities to his hometown in the Dominican Republic. Yet, his efforts don’t end there, Cruz also held a baseball clinic for youth in the area and with the help of Baseballdonations.com was able to donate baseball equipment to local youth leagues.
Several of Cruz’s teammates were on hand at the event, Robinson Cano, Leonys Martin, Joel Peralta, 3rd base coach, Manny Acta, as well as family members and friends. Also in attendance, was Virginia (Vicky) Carballo, from the Major League Baseball Players Association. Jennifer Mercedes, known as La Chica Deportes, served as master of ceremonies for the event.
The event titled Boomstick & Friends, served the purpose of its organizers, which was to spread the message of how a model of solidarity and charitable donations can help break a cycle of poverty. The event also served to present the first ever Boomstick Scholarship, which was awarded to Diana Antigua, a student whom represents the ideals and values needed to succeed in life.
Cruz expressed, “I always have to thank my parents for teaching me the importance of getting an education, and helping out my community. I would always see them involved in the community, and it is because of them that the idea to create a foundation arose.”
The event was also attended by Senator Adriano Espaillat, who presented Cruz with a Proclamation from the New York State Senate, for his great contributions to society & the youth.